Dr R.B. Mars (Rogier)

Principal Investigator - Donders Centre for Cognition
Principal Investigator - Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
Researcher - Sensorimotor Neuroscience

Dr R.B. Mars (Rogier)
Visiting address

Thomas van Aquinostraat 4
6525 GD NIJMEGEN

Postal address

Postbus 9104
6500 HE NIJMEGEN

I explore what it is that makes brains the way they are. Primates, and especially humans, have exceptionally large brains for their body size. Between primates, brains differ in size and in their internal organization. Why is this? I believe that each brain is an adaptation to the particular environment its owner lives in. I try to understand differences between brains as the result of deviations from ancestral brains that arose to deal with challenges in the environment.

To study these question my group and I use two complementary approaches. First, we study how the human brain is organised and works using a range of non-invasive brain imaging techniques, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging and transcranial magnetic stimulation. Second, we use magnetic resonance imaging to compare the organization of different brains. We scan the brains from deceased animals to study the size, location, and connections of different brain regions and compare these between species. This work tells us about the evolution of the brain, but also helps us improve translational neuroscience, where we use information from other species to learn about the human brain.

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